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If you are considering buying a minivan but you also enjoy camping out with family and friends you might be wondering which minivan will work best for that. Obviously you could buy a truck to pull a camper but those take up a lot of space and often aren’t as useful for families as a minivan.
So if you want to get a minivan that can also pull a camper, which one can do that?
All minivans can tow smaller campers as minivans typically can tow up to 3,500lbs. That means you should be able to tow a 15-20ft camper without any problem with any minivan on the market.
The minivan with the largest towing capacity is the Mercedes-Benz Metris that can tow up to 5,000lbs! That means you can tow a camper of around 25 feet long with a Metris minivan.
Although minivans are typically thought of as passenger vehicles that are designed for families they also have a lot of additional uses as well such as hauling lots of cargo or even towing campers or other similar trailers.
It is important to note that the towing capability of a minivan is when it’s empty so if you are hauling 8 passengers plus luggage you would not be able to tow as much weight.
Typically you need to subtract the weight that you are putting in the vehicle from the tow weight. So if you have 1,000lbs of passengers and cargo in the minivan then your vehicle can actually only tow 2,500lbs and not the 3,500lbs that it’s rated for which in turn means you can only tow a smaller camper.
Since a minivan is usually a 7 to 8-seater vehicle it is often seen as a people carrier but minivans are very versatile vehicles so they can be used for far more than simply passengers.
Minivans can be used for towing campers, horse trailers, ATVs, and more. They can be used for hauling couches, large appliances, and even full sheets of plywood.
These vehicles are incredibly spacious and also durable while also having various child-friendly amenities that make them a perfect family vehicle.
Minivans also provide better fuel efficiency than a regular SUV and have comfortable seating with plenty of leg space no matter where in the vehicle that you are sitting.
If you are intrigued by the idea of getting a minivan and pulling a camper with it then you should look for minivans that provide good towing features to assist you as well.
Which minivans can pull which campers?
As mentioned above, all recently manufactured minivans can pull from between 3,000 – 3,600 pounds. This towing capacity is enough to pull a small camper or a teardrop to medium-sized campers with ease. This of course is providing that it has the proper equipment.
A proper wiring harness and a towing hitch is all that you need to get started. Since pulling a heavy weight can cause additional wear and tear on your minivan you do have to be extremely careful not to pull too much weight.
Not only can too much weight cause parts on your minivan to break but it could also risk flipping your vehicle or you losing control and hitting another vehicle around you.
The Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedan, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica are the minivans that are capable of pulling a small to a medium-sized camper. A Mercedes Benz Metris can tow a medium sized camper but anything bigger than that will require a truck.
These minivans are not only worth the cost but are also filled with tons of amenities and features. A bit of maintenance and regular care can increase the life of your minivan to 200,000-300,000 miles and beyond!
Can a Dodge Grand Caravan pull a camper?
The Dodge Grand caravan is a strong minivan that has a very sporty look and appeal to it.
The Dodge Grand Caravan has the capacity to pull a small to medium-sized camper that weighs a maximum of 3,600 pounds. It can easily pull vehicles like the Winniebago Micro Minnie, Hike Trailer, Jayco Hummingbird, etc.
Its pulling capacity also depends upon the number of passengers and the load inside the camper and the minivan as well.
The more weight in the minivan with cargo or passengers the less weight that the Dodge Grand Caravan can tow. Also don’t forget to add on any weight inside the camper to it’s gross weight as well to make sure it isn’t a lot heavier than you think it is!
Can a Honda Odyssey pull a pop up camper?
The Honda Odyssey is the #1 ranked minivan according to many different sites including U.S. News and World Reports. It has comfy seats, nice cabin segmentation, an advanced rear entertainment system, and other clever features that justify its #1 rank without a doubt.
Despite all of the features that the Odyssey has that still leaves the question of whether it can tow a pop up camper.
The Honda Odyssey minivan can pull up to 3,000 pounds ao it can easily handle towing all small to medium sized pop up campers. The largest pop up campers can weigh almost 4,000lbs so those campers would be too heavy for the Odyssey to tow.
However, very few pop up campers are that heavy so virtually all pop up campers that are on the market can be towed with a Honda Odyssey minivan.
Is it hard to pull a pop up camper?
If you are a beginner and pulling a pop up camper for the first time, it may seem a bit hard in the beginning but concentration here is the key. Once you try it out with full focus and get the hang of it, it becomes very easy.
The hardest part of pulling a pop up camper with a minivan or virtually any other vehicle is backing it up. If you’ve never backed up a vehicle with a trailer attached it can take a while to get the hang of it but once you’ve done it a few times you will start to get the hang of it.
When towing a camper with your minivan you should make sure you understand everything about it including the brake assist kit, some tow hook packages, and the electrical connection.
You need to be extremely attentive while driving with a pop up camper in tow as it’s easy to lose control in high winds or if you get going too fast.
It’s a good idea to try practicing it by driving it to a nearby empty parking lot and practicing parking it, accelerating, and even stopping.
Once you can do that properly, you are all set for your adventure.
Can a Toyota Sienna pull a camper?
The Toyota Sienna has a built-in towing package that allows it to pull up to 3,500 pounds. This package provided by Toyota includes an engine oil cooler, a fan, and a heavy-duty radiator. Though it comes with a preparation package, other necessary things like the hitch are not included.
A Toyota Sienna can pull all small to medium sized campers such as an Aliner Family Pop-up Camper, Forest River Rockwood, etc. As long as the camper when loaded weighs less than 3,500lbs and you haven’t put a bunch of people or cargo in your Sienna then it should be able to pull the camper without any problem.
Can a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid pull a Camper?
The latest Chrysler Pacific is ranked #3 in minivans. It is fuel-efficient and has great interior features such as stow n’ go seats, and great maneuverability.
Although the regular Chrysler Pacifica can easily tow up to 3,600lbs the Hybrid model is not designed to tow any weight at all. Chrysler does not recommend towing with their hybrid model as can be seen on this spec sheet.
Whether you “can” tow with any hybrid is up for debate but according to Chrysler the Pacifica hybrid minivan isn’t designed for towing anything at all so I wouldn’t recommend doing it or else you risk damaging your vehicle and its components.
Can a minivan pull 5000 pounds?
The Mercedes-Benz Metris is the only minivan that can pull this much weight. It has a capacity of towing 5000 pounds and is the only minivan to offer that much towing capacity.
Again, that is with no passengers or cargo in the minivan so if you have a bunch of either of those items then that will reduce the towing capacity of this minivan as well .
The Metris is a great option for anyone who wants a minivan that can tow a lot of weight while still offering room for tons of passengers or cargo as well.
Minivans that can pull a small to medium sized camper are the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Voyager, Toyota Sienna and the Dodge Grand Caravan.
With proper maintenance these minivans will pull your camper without hassle for many years as long as you don’t try to pull too much weight.